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C-Tec Miracle seal for leaks. Anyone used it?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Mike Reed, Jan 15, 2023.

  1. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    A mile away, seriously?

    Eff me:rolleyes:

    That is over a month to respond to a customer enquiry regarding a job that you've just recently done, honestly I'd get rid of the guys ASAP Mike that really is terrible customer service.

    BTW how much did you pay for the job?
    Mike Reed likes this.
  2. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Jesus H. A mile away. That's outrageous.
    I use local suppliers if I can for contracted-out services in the factories where I work, for exactly this reason. The best pest control service I ever had was from a guy who lived in the same village as the factory and ran his business out of his garage. He used to call in our place at the drop of a hat because he knew he'd be nearby every night and morning. Any trouble "OK Steve, I'm at a job in Nottingham, be with you this evening about 5, 430 if I can make it. That OK?" The same man would be waiting for me the next morning at 8. "Morning Steve, I've just been round again, cleared the traps, there's a gap where they are getting in, you need your engineers to..."
    Compare and contrast this with the likes of Rentokil: "OK thanks Steve, that's logged, it won't be today, the nearest Technician is in Stoke all day, so within 24 hours..." Cue me replying "Excuse me, I have a mouse in my factory RIGHT NOW and I want it to be removed" to no avail.
    Mind you, at the last place we managed to bring a rabbit in, I imagine on some pallets. We caught it under a bucket and evicted it, unharmed apart from having been a bit roughed up while they were wrestling the bucket over it.
    Mike Reed and twotone like this.
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Apart from £525 for assorted pipes and bit (?) everything else was itemised at r.r.p. in the quote (good and unusual point, I feel). Total paid = a shade under £4200, as boiler was a less powerful version of that quoted. No VAT, though that'll change very soon, I was told. Seemed reasonable and competitive compared to 2 slightly dissimilar quotes (no cylinder + cheaper boiler) in the summer.

    Re. duff phone, he's prob. using his mate's one.
    twotone likes this.
  4. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    So at guess I'm thinking he's charged you about £2k for labour?

    BTW, I itemise everything on a quote, boilers are easy to find prices for Mike as are cylinders, not bought an unvented indirect cylinder for a few years now but I'd guess about £600 for a 36 X 18 indirect with an immersion heater.
    Mike Reed likes this.
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    When I added up all those expensive bits (pump, Honeywell prog + 'stat, 3 x TRVs etc.) and the new 700 x700 rad + large cylinder, I figured out about a grand, plus any balance left over from the un-detailed £525 amount. 2 chaps, 2 days more or less; sounded about right.
  6. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    He's not saving much by not charging vat Mike the difference between a vat registered guy and a non vat registered guy is roughly about 7% on a job.

    I'm not vat registered either so you lose the vat on the materials ie I had a customer buy his own boiler last week @ £2700 the vat on that is about £450 which is lost doesn't really bother the customer as he has to pay the vat on the materials regardless but I can't claim the vat back to offset the job.

    I doubt he was only making a grand though but it depends on the boiler price, you used to be able to buy a Y or S plan set up for about £90 less the pump which is about £110 or so then the cylinder @ £600 ish plus materials, pipe etc and chemicals, doubt it would have come to £2200 for the gear to be honest.

    So about £200 tops for an S plan set up including stats and programmer.

    Cylinder £344 inc vat plus immersion heater another £25

    Which boiler is it Mike?
  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I am though as labour is cheaper. I've always thought it immoral when VAT became charged on labour (can't remember who did it though).

    Boiler around £1250 + horizontal terminal (whatever that is; it went in where the old one was); 2 x H zone valves £92 pump £158: bypass £55: cylinder £280: H time controls, wiring acc's £320: rad 125: 3 x TRVs £75: Magnaclean filter, cleaner and inhibitor £135: instal £985: pipe fittings & fixtures £525 (compression)

    There you have it, Tony; lots of bits.
    Ellenor and twotone like this.
  8. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    Labour isn't cheaper Mike the vat is lost on it ie he charges you his labour but he can't claim the vat on it back ie £1000 labour inc vat is £1200 but he can claim £200 back ergo the cost for labour is £1000 if he's vat registered so on a £4000 job the total vat is £800 which is what you're charged but his costs are all ex vat sort of so he buys £2400 of materials which only cost him £2000 and £2400 labour so you pay £4800 but the job only costs him £4400 as I said the difference is about 6 or 7 % from vat registered to no vat registered plus he or a vat registered person can claim the vat back on his outgoings too ie fuel, mobile phone, van repairs, van purchase etc etc.

    Boiler around £1250
    horizontal terminal = Flue @ £90
    pump £158 (£142)
    cylinder £280
    Magnaclean filter, cleaner and inhibitor £135 (£121)
    3 x TRVs £75 (gold plated? TRVs are about £10 each Mike so £30)
    wiring acc's £320 (sounds expensive to me but...)
    Honeywell S plan pack including motorised valves X 2, stats X 2 and time clock etc @ £190
    instal £985
    pipe fittings & fixtures £525 (compression) (sounds expensive to me too but...)

    Total £3653 approx
    Mike Reed likes this.
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I thought I had a handles of this, Tony; i.e. if his labour charge is £1000 (no VAT), he gets £1000. If VAT is added, it's £1200 to the customer. He claims £200 back so makes a killing. I thought VAT reclaim was only on materials. Obv. I'm all askew with this but Not really sure of anything at the mo' (brain freeze :()
    Yes, I did think he was gilding the lily a bit on prices (as of October'22) but was prepared for a little leeway (i.e. 'extra' for him) in the light of previous quotes and misquotes (one sent a 'reminder' letter adding a couple of hundred to his quote !!!!; Maybe it's Norfolk????)

    From your comments and prices, I'd say it was a good installation for him which should involve some feedback/aftercare/communication whatever.
    twotone likes this.
  10. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    If it were me, I would go round to his house and wait for him to come home. I would then, figuratively, drag him round to my house to at least have a good look at was was going on.
  11. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    Mike don’t go to the guy’s house mate.
    Mike Reed likes this.
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    At 82 and unable to drive in the dark, I'll pass on that one, thanks.

    See above. My confrontational days (if any) are long gone;); besides, this wouldn't improve any outcome. Both of us have (had?) amicable situation with both of them and they know me from previous jobs. Last January he came round after work to try to get my old Potterton working, with success. I asked for his bill but he said to chalk it up to next time. Yes, he's shrewd, but building up a business with all that entails, so this is a bit unexpected.

    Writing down the incident and email chain, this recent exchange has only been going for just over a week ; seems a lot longer than that. He gave me a pm slot for next Monday and whatever he does, it'll need some time, as if he tried sealant, the system will need to fill up again and any air removed.

    Not sure of the capacity of our 2 storey 10 med/large + small rad house. 50? 100 litres? Surly not too much more.
    twotone likes this.
  13. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Just heard from the plumber; seems he's so rushed off his feet he's working weekends. He'll bring sealant on Monday and sounds confident enough that he'll get us up and running. If it works, it'll buy time at least
    twotone and Ellenor like this.
  14. Ellenor

    Ellenor pfm Member

    That’s good news but if that stuff does actually seal your leak it won’t last long at all. I don’t think from what you’re describing that it will work.
    Regarding the price, in my opinion that’s a good price if it’s a job very well done with system properly flushed etc. I do think though that the guy’s customer service is poor for the price he charged. You feel bad enough over all this already so I’m trying not to make you feel any worse than you already are.

    I got caught out myself with my own house. The day we moved in the pressure on the Combi was 1 bar. The next morning it was 0.5 bar. Yes the microbore pipework in the downstairs screed was obviously gone and the bastards who owned the house obviously topped up the pressure just before they left. The house was a mess and a project anyway and I was always going to repipe anyway so out came the drills and I chiselled out the screed, layed new pipework and made plywood covers so it was all ducted safely. I found the area of the leak when we took up the laminate floor in the kitchen. It was pretty wet under there. Leak sealer probably would have sealed that one as it wasn’t a huge leak.
    Mike Reed and twotone like this.
  15. Ian G

    Ian G pfm Member

    Sorry to hear of your troubles Mike.
    I'm vat registered as I work for a lot of business, I charge vat on labour and materials, the business I invoice claims that vat back. But I have to pay all the vat on my invoices to HMRC less any vat I can claim back on my own expenses. I don't get to keep it.
  16. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    Mondays been and gone, did the plumber come over yesterday as he promised??
    Mike Reed likes this.
  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Hi, and thanks for remembering. Yes he came late yesterday aft., stuck Fernox leak sealant in my (empty) header tank and filled the system. He reset the boiler, reduced the flow rate from 75 to 65 degrees as I asked and have had htg on 24/7 since. We'll gradually start reducing this time tomorrow until we're back to htg on demand, just to allow the sealant to work on cooler pipes (in theory) and to stop the leak/ingress into header tank.

    He's now contactable by phone (!!!!) so I'll keep him posted. Not terribly optimistic but this is game plan A. Game plan B, if required, is for him to acquire a stronger, better sealant from Germany via my semi-retired mature plumber (their employer until 18 mths ago). Plan C ? Reconnect all downstairs rads via new piping from above. That'll be fun 'n' games! May well do what my sister did with a rental property with mains water leak under concrete and contact my insurer re. detecting the leak and digging up the relevant concrete area. Ho hum!

    After 7 days of a near frozen house (max temp. 15 after a few hours but 11.5 early a.m., bathroom 8 and office 8 (upstairs); kitchen-diner and bedroom just bloody cold. We've got the 'stat on 17 now as we can't cope with 18 plus !!!:)

    Phoned Anglian Water today and they confirm no leakage since the 15th and previous loss won't be horrendous (though d.d. went up by £6 in December).
    Rug Doc likes this.
  18. notaclue

    notaclue pfm Member

    Fingers crossed. Plan C sounds drastic. I would be tempted to try a leak detector first in case it's not a big job to fix. Hopefully in the summer!
    Mike Reed likes this.
  19. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    I’ll be amazed if the boiler doesn’t chuck it, sounds like a right bodge.

    Sorry Mike but the guy is a complete cowboy.

    Leak sealer from Germany, eff me I’ve heard it all now, a £4200 job two months old bunged with leak sealer, seriously?
    Mike Reed likes this.
  20. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    The Fernox sealant does stipulate that it's suitable for and won't 'cause blockages' Didn't know these things had expiry dates, as I assume' 04/22' is (!!!)

    Update, 24/7 htg (low 60 on 'stat) for second day. Wife observed no mains ingress this aft., then after a short while, a slight one, then boiler kicked in (above around 40) and the ingress stopped.

    To my mind, a sealant can only work on a leak, and that leak appears at lower pipe flow temp's (hence lowering flow rate to 65 with boiler showing f/r down to about 40)). The Fernox advice that it 'seals small weeps and leaks' isn't exactly comforting as between 1.5 and, say, 2.5 litres leakage an hour doesn't seem like a small leak to me (my calc's based upon previous loss with cold pipes based upon capacity of header tank (about 11 l to ball-valve float) and depth.

    Don't think this'll work, but t.b.h., a constantly warmish house, not sth I've ever experienced, is growing on me and is at least keeping the wolf at bay; prefer getting sth out of the htg rather than the total waste of potable water.

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